In June 1968, I attended my high school’s senior prom. My date was Joan, the Captain of the school’s cheer leading squad. Frank, my best friend and Dariel, his long time sweetheart, also attended. My father had agreed to let me use his new Oldsmobile Delta 88 – with its camel leather interior, power seats and five speaker sound system – it was a rather dramatic step up in luxury from Frank’s three-cylinder SAAB, and thus his decision to accept my offer to “double date” took all of two or three seconds.
Four years later, after returning from a ten month retreat at a Catholic Benedictine monastery, I met Dariel by accident. Our relationship had always been solid, yet strictly platonic. That would all change that summer.
With Dariel’s parents in Europe, her parent’s home quickly became a place to hang out at the end of a days work. We even went shopping together for food and would prepare meals together. Platonic, soon gave way to what we both called the “thunderbolt,” and our newly found passion and romance seemed as natural as a spring shower.
After the third or fourth week of thunderbolt intensity we decided to consummate the relationship. It was an important decision for both of us – neither of us took it lightly. After a dinner of pasta and broccoli, we listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, both working up the courage to expose ourselves, not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.
We spent about an hour in her bed talking, holding hands, and letting nature take it’s course.
Which it did.
It was like watching a nitro-burning funny car go from 0 to 250 miles per hour. Clothes were flying this way and that and the passion of the moment made everything else irrelevant.
Our bodies came together as two flames. Our lips fused together as we prepared to become as one.
And then it happened . . .
The bed and box spring broke in half, the mattress collapsed and we were left in the middle of a mattress sandwich looking into each other’s eyes.
We exploded in laughter.
In fact I can’t remember ever laughing as hard as I did that night. We laid together on the broken bed, amazed at the turn of events, and aware that although a physical relationship was not in the cards, a beautiful friendship was born that evening – one that has continued to grow for 40 years.